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How can patrons submit & check in / out for seat bookings?

What are seat bookings?

The Seat Bookings module is available as an add-on to your LibCal subscription. When enabled for your LibCal system, the Seat Booking module lets you make either entire spaces or individual seats within a space available for booking. This allows you to more easily advertise and manage a space's seating capacity. Because the same general settings & booking limits you can apply to a space's category are also applied to its seats, this allows you to:

  • Enable staff mediation seat bookings
  • Define the minimum and maximum duration of each booking
  • Restrict the number of times or minutes a patron can book a seat by day, week, month, year, and/or simultaneously
  • Limit how many days in advance patrons can book spaces
  • Add padding time after a booking, allowing you to clean up and reset the seat before the next patron arrives
  • By applying custom availability hours to a space, limit the hours a space's seats are available to be booked each day of the week

Optionally, you can also require patrons to check in when they arrive for a seat booking and check out when they leave. This allows you to track the real-time occupancy of your spaces via the Spaces > Utilization dashboard.

Interested in adding the Seat Booking module to your LibCal subscription? Watch our overview video to learn more or contact our Springy Sales Team for more info today!

 


The public reservation page

The Seat & Space Bookings landing page allows patrons to look for available spaces and seats by location, or check in and out for their bookings.

To link directly to this page, append /r to your LibCal site's URL. For example, if your URL was mylibrary.libcal.com, you would access this page at mylibrary.libcal.com/r.

seat & space bookings landing page

To start a new reservation, click on the Reserve button. This will take you to the New Reservation page, where patrons can look for available spaces and seats by location.

  • To link directly to this page, append /r/new to your LibCal site's URL. For example, if your URL was mylibrary.libcal.com, you would access this page at mylibrary.libcal.com/r/new.
  • You can add the Seat/Space Reservation Page content item to your LibCal homepage (learn more about customizing the LibCal Homepage).
  • You can generate a QR code for the reservation page, print it, and place it in a convenient location inside your building (learn more about viewing and printing the QR code).

the New Reservation page

From the New Reservation page, you'll begin by using the filters to look for available spaces in a location.

  1. Use the Select a Library dropdown to choose a location where you want to find a seat.
  2. Optionally, you can filter to a specific Zone in that selected location (if any have been added to the location). By default, all zones will be listed.
  3. Optionally, you can filter to a specific Category or spaces. By default, all categories will be listed.
  4. From the Capacity dropdown, select Single Seat Booking.
    • If you select other options, you will be presented with entire spaces rather than individual seats.
  5. Optionally, select the An accessible space/seat is required checkbox to view only those seats that have been listed as accessible. (This can be set by Admin users when adding or managing seats.)
  6. Click the Show Availability button. This will take user to the availability grid, which displays the available times for the seats matching their filters.
Tip: you can link directly to the available seats for a location, zone, and/or category! After selecting the corresponding filters and clicking the Show Availability button (see above), simply copy the availability page's URL from your browser.

Finding seats via the space booking page

If you are already viewing the public space booking page (i.e. displaying entire spaces to book), you can view available seats in the category by switching the capacity filter to Single Seat Booking.

selecting Single Seat Booking from the Capacity dropdown


Navigating the availability grid

The availability grid displays the available time slots for each bookable seat.

options for navigating the seat availability grid

  1.  If you want to look for different seats, click the You can go back and change the filters link at the top of the page.
  2. Use the  Go To Date button to view seat availability for a specific date. Clicking the button will display a calendar date picker, which you can use to navigate to a future date.
  3. Use the next () and previous () buttons to navigate ahead and back one date at a time.
  4. By default, the grid will display the availability for the current date. If there are no available times on the current date, click the  Next Available button to jump ahead to the next date with available times.
    • Note: this button only displays if the current date has no available booking times.
  5. To view info and availability for a specific seat, click on its name in the Seat column.
  6. The grid shows availability times in one of four color patterns, based upon the hours and booking limits applied to the containing space. Status colors and patterns can be customized by Admins in your Spaces & Equipment Settings.
    • Open (green by default): this indicates a time slot that is available to be booked. Clicking one of these slots will start a booking for the corresponding seat.
    • Unavailable/Padding (red by default): this indicates a time slot is not available to be booked.
    • Your Pending Booking (yellow by default): this indicates the booking duration selected by the user.
    • Closed (light gray): this indicates that the space is closed at that time (i.e. falls outside of the space's open hours), or that the time slot occurred in the past (expired).

Submitting a booking

From the availability grid:

  1. Click on an open time slot to create a booking starting at that time.
Note: when a user clicks on a booking slot, their selected times will be "locked" for 5 minutes. This is to prevent other users from attempting to book the same times before the user is able to complete & submit the booking form. The lock will automatically be cleared if the user navigates away from the booking page (such as pressing the back button in their browser).
  1. Below the availability grid, you'll find a summary of the booking, including:
    • The seat name
    • The start date and time of the booking
    • The end date and time of the booking
    • The trash can () button, which will remove the seat from your booking
  2. By default, the end time of your booking will be set to the default booking duration for that seat's category. Depending upon how the category has been configured, you can use the dropdown menu to select a different end time between the minimum and maximum durations.
    • To pick a different start time, click on the the trash can () button and click on a different open slot in the grid.
  3. Click on the Submit Times button.
    • If required by your library, you may be prompted to log into your institution or library account in order to continue the booking process.

the availability grid, selected booking, and Submit Times button

  1. On the Booking Details page, complete the provided booking form fields. At a minimum, this will be your full name and email address. However, each library can use their own customized booking form, with questions unique to their location, category, and/or space. Some of these custom questions can be required in order to submit the form.
    1. If you would like to go back and change your booking's seat, start time, and/or end time, click the Change link to return to the availability grid.
  2. Click the Submit my Booking button. You'll be taken to a confirmation page summarizing your booking, and will also receive an email confirmation.

booking details, form fields, and Submit my Booking button 


Checking in & out for a booking

Via QR Code

Each seat has its own unique QR code that you can print out and attach to (or near) the seat. Admin users can view and print each seat's QR code by viewing a space's Seats settings and clicking a seat's QR code () icon.

example QR code

When a patron arrives for their booking, they can scan the QR code with their smartphone. This will take them to the public check-in page where they can indicate their arrival. They will need to enter the check-in code that was provided in their booking confirmation email in order to check in.

the check in page

Once they're done, they scan the QR code again to view the check-out page. Again, they'll need to enter the check-in code for their booking in order to check out.

the check out page

Via booking email links

After a patron submits a booking (and it's confirmed/verified/mediated approved), the default email templates will provide them with a link to easily check in and out for their booking, along with the check-in code they need to enter.

email template preview showing check-in link and code

Via the seat & space bookings landing page

The Seat & Space Bookings landing page allows patrons to check in and out for their bookings. Simply use the buttons provided on the page and enter the booking's unique check-in code.

To link directly to this page, append /r to your LibCal site's URL. For example, if your URL was mylibrary.libcal.com, you would access this page at mylibrary.libcal.com/r.

seat & space bookings landing page

Via staff entry

Staff users can also check users in and out for their bookings via the Spaces > Booking Grid & Availability page. Simply click on the booking in the grid to view its details. Then, in the Booking Details panel, click on the link provided in the Check In/Out field.

a check-in link in the booking details panel

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